I had a lot of fun doing this project. It was one of those projects where you can see the finished product in your head, but you are not sure how you are going to get there! I knew I wanted to do something graphic, and so I immediately went to the clothing care icons. But while I liked the symbols, I did not want them to be too modern, because I have cherry cabinetry and slate floors that don’t feel very modern. So I decided to age them, and I’ll show you step by step how I did this project. Keep in mind there are about a million ways to do this project, you can definitely give it your own spin.
As far as cost goes, this was a cheap project… I got seven 12″x12″ canvases at Michael’s. They are regularly $20 but I used a 50% off coupon and got them for $10. Now when I say cheap, I mean it! I used a Michael’s gift card that I won at FrugalGirls.com, so I really didn’t spend anything. All the other stuff I already had.
I drew up the icons in Illustrator really quickly, and just put a thin black outline to be my cutting guide. Here is a 6 page PDF of the icons if you’d like to try this on your own. I printed them out on heavy weight paper so that it would hold up better to the wear and tear. If I had a silhouette, this project could have been cut out of vinyl and would have taken about 10 minutes rather than a few hours. But I don’t, so it was done all by hand.
Once I had the prints done, I set to work painting the canvases. I used my $5 oops paint from Lowe’s. This is the same paint that I used my Friend’s Entrance, and also in my mudroom. Since the laundry room is off the mudroom, I wanted to bring a little of that color in. Plus it complements the charcoal grey countertops and washer and dryer in my laundry room. The paint color is a very light gray. I’m not going to show you the finished project hanging in my laundry room in this post, although I will show you the finished paintings. I am going to make frames for them and so I won’t hang them until I get that done. You’ll have to check in later this week to see that post!
I cut on the inside of the black line so my shape didn’t have any black edges.
While the paint is was drying, I used a knife and a ruler over a piece of glass to cut my shapes out. I made sure that when I cut, I was inside the black line so that I didn’t have any black lines on my silhouette when it was completed.
I gave my silhouettes a quick coat of white paint. You could probably skip this step, but the paint gave it a little texture. And I wanted this to look like it had been painted and weathered for years.
Once the canvases were dry, I put a coating of Decoupage (same thing as ModgePodge) all over the canvas with a sponge brush. I also brushed the back of the paper cut out and then I stuck it on. I let that dry and I covered the whole thing again with a coat of Decoupage. This gave me a nice surface to paint the white edge wash on, and it protected the paper from too much water, which could cause it to fall apart.
After letting everything dry, (you need a lot of patience for this project) I applied my white wash edges. I took white gesso, but you can just used plain old craft paint. I took an angled brush and wet it. Then I loaded my paint on one side only so that it would fade out to the other edge. I simply brushed it along the outline.
When I finished it, it looked a little too neat. I wanted a rougher look, so I took a damp paper towel and rubbed, removing some of the white paint and revealing the canvas texture underneath. The more you do this, the older it looks. Just don’t let the paint dry too long or scrubbing won’t work as well.
Then I took a stencil brush with some of my blue gray paint and after dabbing almost all the paint off, I went over the white silhouette to age it even more.
After that I went over the whole thing one more time with decoupage to seal everything in. I love how this turned out and I can’t wait to make some frames for it and hang it on the wall.
Now I know that you are curious what some of the less obvious icons mean, so here is a description for each.
Thanks for visiting! I’d love to hear what you think!
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